Belfast Telegraph

Giant-killing exploits thin on the ground in this year's Irish Cup fifth round

By Martin Mawhinney

Championship Two side Sport & Leisure Swifts provided arguably the biggest upset on a day where the underdogs had little joy in the Tennent's Irish Cup fifth round at the weekend.

The Glen Road Heights club's 3-2 extra time victory over Championship One's Institute - courtesy of goals from Conor Glenholmes, Darren Gallagher and Kevin Lynch - was the only game where the bookmakers' odds were overturned, although many of the lower-ranked clubs left in local football's biggest cup competition acquitted themselves well against some of the Danske Bank Premiership's leading lights.

Immaculata held out impressively for 64 minutes before Cliftonville's James Knowles broke the deadlock, and Chris Curran made it 2-0 with 12 minutes left, but the Reds were left in no doubt that they'd been given a serious test by the Amateur League Premier Division outfit.

Similarly, there was little disgrace in Rathfriland Rangers' 3-0 defeat at Crusaders, and the Seaview faithful acknowledged their opponents' efforts as they applauded them off the pitch at full time.

There was to be no repeat of last season's dramatic victory over Glenavon for Harland & Wolff Welders, as the Steel & Sons Cup winners this time fell to a 4-1 defeat at Tillysburn Park - Scott Davidson scoring the home side's only goal, and the third of the game.

Elsewhere, Banbridge Town were unable to find the net in their 2-0 defeat at home to Carrick Rangers, Wakehurst were humbled 6-1 at Portadown, Armagh City eventually beat Portstewart 4-1 on penalties after the two sides were tied together at 2-2 after extra time, Larne won an eventful all-Championship One battle with Loughgall 5-2.

Kyle Agnew and Mark Anderson were on target to ensure PSNI overcame Championship Two rivals Tobermore United, while Lurgan Celtic were 2-1 winners over Bangor.

And Crumlin Star will fly the flag for the Amateur League in the sixth round with a home tie against Carrick Rangers on February 6, after edging past NI Intermediate League side Oxford United Stars (see full report on The Park website).

Meanwhile, Ards' weather-postponed trip to Glentoran and Knockbreda's scheduled encounter with Annagh United (which was called off for the same reason and will now be played at Tandragee Road due to Breda Park's lack of spotlights), will take place on January 19.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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